Today marks the first day of spring, April brings us 30 Days of Biking, and May is Bike Month with its many Commute Challenges and Bike to Work Day activities. Take a quick peek at our Rides Calendar and you’ll find bike rides happening all across the Evergreen State.
Clearly there are plenty of reasons to ride your bike. If you’re looking for some encouragement and social companionship on your bike rides, then check into riding with a bike club.
Not all bike clubs are aimed at the go-fast, lycra-clad crowd. Consider Belles and Baskets of Spokane and Velofemmes of Tacoma. These groups–organized by women who want to inspire other women to ride bikes–offer casual, women-focused rides that are fun. In addition to bike rides, Velofemmes also host conversation nights and bike mechanic workshops.
Some senior centers, like Northshore Senior Center in Bothell, have bike clubs that organize rides suited for older adults. The Northshore Bike Club offers rides of varying distances and difficulty levels. The club also assists older adults who have been away from cycling to ease back into the activity. Refer to the Activities and Classes download for more information about the club.
Do you want to spend some time biking with your kids? Then Kidical Mass is the group for you! Launched in Eugene, OR in 2008, the Kidical Mass movement is spreading across North America. Kidical Mass is a family friendly bike ride through the community and usually includes a fun destination (think playgrounds and ice cream shops). KM rides are currently organized in Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma. EverybodyBIKE in Bellingham also offers family friendly bike rides in the summer. Contact your local bike club and ask if they offer family friendly rides. Some of them do.
If you are interested in riding competitively, then check out a racing group like Chinook Cycling Club in Yakima. Chinook is a member of the US Cycling Federation and they organize club rides and races, as well as a USCF sanctioned event. If you’ve ridden a few centuries and enjoy long distances, then consider getting involved with Seattle International Randonneurs. Rando events are not races, but there are time limits for completion which make them challenging.
If you’re looking for a more traditional bike club to ride with, we have plenty of those in Washington! Seattle-based Cascade Bicycle Club is the largest recreational bike club in the nation and offers daily rides to meet your abilities and comfort level. West Sound Cycling Club (Kitsap Peninsula), Wheatland Wheelers of Walla Walla, and Vancouver Bicycle Club are also examples of recreational bike clubs.
Do you prefer riding singletrack dirt trails over pavement? Some recreational bike clubs also organize mountain bike rides. But if you’re serious about dirt trails, you need to look into a group like Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Evergreen is our state’s largest mountain bike advocacy and trail building group, and they also organize rides.
Be sure to look at the Bike Clubs page on our website to find a club (or clubs) near you. If you don’t see one that meets your style of riding, contact your local club anyway and ask if they’d be willing to offer your style of ride. Most bike clubs are eager to grow bicycling in their communities and, if you offer to help organize the ride, they may be willing to list it as their ride.
Photos by Carla Gramlich.